Archaeological Collection

Dagger with a hilt-plate

Dagger with a hilt-plate
Item name:Dagger with a hilt-plate
Dating:17th–16th century BC
Dimensions:l. 20.6 cm
Findspot:Ig – second Dežman pile-dwelling site
Inv. No.:B 4793
On display:The Earliest Stories from the Crossroads


Bronze dagger from Ig (17th–16th centuries BC). The dagger was unearthed in 1876 in the area of the second Dežman pile-dwelling site, but postdates the pile dwellings by roughly a thousand years. Its stratigraphic location was presumably similar to that of the flange-hilted sword from the first pile-dwelling site (Fig. 230 second sword from the left), found in 1875 half a metre above the habitation remains of the pile-dwellers. Its elaborate incised decoration of lines, hanging triangles and semicircles, but also the elegantly curved silhouette, which is closer to the first swords than to the earlier triangular daggers (Fig. 226), make this a unique product. A decorative design similar to that on the handguard plate also adorns the short sword from Lavrica, in the Ljubljansko barje. In 1985, the dagger and the sword were stolen from the National Museum in Ljubljana. The sword is still missing, while the dagger reappeared thirty-three years later at an auction in London. It was returned to the museum in 2018 with the help of Interpol.

Further reading

TTurk, Peter and Turk, Matija, 2019: The Earliest Stories from the Crossroads, Ljubljana, Fig. 220, pp. 176–177, 248.

On display in the Permanent Exhibition